Sure we're also driven, goal-oriented, ambitious and more often than not, very successful, but at the end of the day, none of these descriptions make us sound like the type of person anyone would want to share a glass of wine with on a lakeside dock in the summer - but let's call a spade a spade here - the thought of winding down and zen-ing out makes our skin crawl. We want to enjoy a little R&R, but in a Type A kind of way.
So let's take a step back in time and figure out how we got labelled to begin with. It all began in the late 1950's. Yakety Yak, Splish Splash and The Purple People Eater were top hits on the radio. The average cost of a nice new house in the 'burbs was about $13k, high and bouncy ponytails were popular and a cardiologist named Dr. Meyer Friedman was noticing an interesting commonality in his heart-attack patients - in short, they were all highly competitive people. He coined the term "Type A" to describe the shared traits of these dominant, impatient, ambitious, short-wicked, list-making, go-get-'em, aggressive people. Although anyone can display some or all of these characteristics, what makes someone a true Type A is how intensely the traits are exhibited.
And while it's no surprise that a disproportionately large number of highly successful people are true Type A personalities, it's also true that Type A's report being less-happy, less-relaxed, less-satisfied and clearly, less-likely avoid a cardiac incident! What Type A people need, but have never been given, is a prescription and roadmap for a happier, healthier life that synergistically works in conjunction with the characteristics of Type A people! You can't teach a dog to purr like cat.
So here are 10 quick relaxation and wellness hacks that any Type A can adopt today, not because we want to, but because we have to - out tickers can't keep up!
Fact: We love rushing!
Rx: Set aside 20-minutes a day (minimum) for a vigorous power-walk. The fresh air, lungs expanding, heart-pumping exercise is good for the body and the mind!
Fact: We love anything to the max.
Rx: Take a Power Hot Yoga class and spend 75-minutes sweating like a business traveller racing through LAX with a 10-minute connector window - minus the stress. Om.
Fact: We coined the term "hangry" (hungry + angry) because we often are too busy to eat at the right times.
Rx: Keep healthy, filling snacks in your desk, tote, car, or anywhere you're going to be and when you do eat meals, make sure they're well balanced and nutritional.
Fact: We're often wound-up tighter than a dancer's bun.
Rx: Spend quality time with a pet. Petting cats and dogs has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and bring forth a level of calm in people. In fact, some believe that cats especially seek out those who need to de-stress by hopping on their laps. So don't shove Fluffy away - pet her!
Fact: We hate doing nothing.
Rx: Learn to appreciate than doing nothing, is not nothing. Sitting comfortably and taking a few moments to reflect on your day is a moment in itself to be grateful for. Relish the chance to spend "nothing"moments appreciating the brief stillness...because you know it won't last long.
Fact: We tend to have a lead foot when driving.
Rx: Roll down the windows and take that heavy-footed self on a drive through the countryside. Take a road less-travelled, feel the wind in your hair and breath in the freedom that comes from being able to do so! That experience of driving alone, for pleasure, is a reminder of the freedom from routine that you have earned in that moment.
Fact: We like to bury ourselves in work.
Rx: Bury your nose in a flower instead. Consider buying yourself a few fresh flowers each week, place them on your desk and inhale deeply. Between inbox cleanups, between meetings, between coffee breaks, stop and smell the roses!! Feel the scent travel into your nose and notice how your mood changes. Be in that moment. Appreciate it.
Fact: We love to plan.
Rx: Make plans to have dinner with a friend that makes you laugh hysterically. When was the last time you laughed a horribly out-of-control, eye-watering, belly-aching laugh? That long eh? So make it happen. Laughter reduces stress instantly!
Fact: We love making money!
Rx: Give some money away. Making a donation to a cause that is meaningful to us, is a great way to take ourselves out of our little self-centred bubble and put a focus on big-picture life and realize how fortunate we truly are. It's a win-win and it feels good.
Fact: We love lists!
Rx: Get out the pen and paper and make a point of jotting down 3-5 things that you are grateful for each day. Sound hokey? It's been proven that the act of physically writing out the things that we are thankful for releases endorphins, stimulating the happy parts of our brains. Plus it puts all our Type A-ness into perspective and reframes the idea of what it means to have success and wealth - and it's not about the dollar-bills!
Visit www.KasieSavage.com or inbox me if you'd like to learn more about how a coach can help you gain clarity and find focus in your life.Remember, if you're not bouncing out of bed to tackle life, you either need more sleep, or you need a coach to help unlock your purpose.